Do Teens Need Pelvic Exams?

Do Teens Need Pelvic Exams?

Pelvic exams are an important part of every woman’s preventive health care. During a pelvic exam, your doctor examines your genitals and your reproductive organs to evaluate your gynecologic health.

Most women should get pelvic exams annually as part of their well-woman visits, but when should those visits begin? If you have a teenage daughter, you might be wondering when she needs to start going to the gynecologist.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that all teen girls have their first gynecologist appointment around the age of 15. But what happens at that appointment depends on a few factors, and our team at Solace Women's Care is here to help you understand what to expect.

Farly Sejour, MD, and Natalie Gould, WHNP-BC, specialize in health care for teen girls. Whether you’re a teen or a parent of a teen, take a moment to find out when you should make your first gynecologist appointment, and what to expect when you go.

Scheduling your teen’s first gynecologist appointment

On average, girls in the United States get their first menstrual period at age 12. Once you have your first period, your body follows a menstrual cycle each month, and it’s possible for you to get pregnant if you have sexual intercourse.

You may consider scheduling their initial appointment earlier than the aforementioned age 15 if your daughter had her first period earlier than age 12 or if she experiences heavy menstrual bleeding or very painful menstrual cramps.

Before the appointment, talk to your daughter about what to expect. She may be nervous or embarrassed, but you can help her feel more comfortable by explaining the importance of preventive care.

Preventive health care is focused on identifying small issues before they get worse. Even if your daughter feels fine and is healthy, starting preventive well-woman visits early sets her up for better health throughout her life.

What to expect at your teen’s first gynecologist appointment

At initial appointments, Dr. Sejour and our team work hard to make our patients feel comfortable. We start by asking questions about your daughter’s general health and reviewing her medical history. 

Your daughter can choose to meet with the team alone or have a family member in the room. We continue the appointment with a physical exam and typically a visual exam of external genitals.

We talk with you and your daughter about preventive care, including human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. If you or your teen have any questions about her health, her appointment is the perfect time to ask.

Does my teen daughter need a pelvic exam?

Most of the time, teen girls don’t need pelvic exams at their first gynecologist appointment. ACOG recommends that women get their first internal pelvic exam around age 21.

Dr. Sejour may recommend pelvic exams earlier than age 21 for some girls, however. These reasons may include:

Your teen’s first gynecologist visit doesn’t have to be scary. Find out more about preventive care and well-woman exams for teen girls at Solace Women’s Care. Call our office at 936-441-7100 or send us a message online.

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